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Since the introduction of the first batch of imported bicycles from Firefox in 2005, this brand has come a long way. Their foray into manufacturing road, hybrid and MTB’s shows their strength and constant strive to give bicycles, which are both performance packed as well as affordable. We got the opportunity to test ride the Firefox Sniper D (2017) and here is what we thought.
The Firefox Sniper D is built on an alloy hardtail frame. This frame is strong and robust which makes this bicycle ready for some hard-hitting trails. The frame geometry was a good mix of both aggressive and comfort. The top tube only has a slight incline and also shaped well so as to use minimum material and keep the weight low.
The SR Suntour XCT front suspension fork on the Sniper D (2017) has a 100mm travel. These suspension pistons work amazingly well on both rough urban surfaces and moderate trails. This suspension fork also has a smooth operating hydraulic lockout, which makes your ride faster, on flat terrains.
The Firefox Sniper D (2017) which I test rode came in a full neon orange frame with white graphics in certain places on the frame of this bicycle. The matte finish paint job looked and felt fabulous. The frame geometry with smooth welds on the joints was top notch. The high clearance of the bottom bracket not only makes sure there is smooth sailing on trails but also makes the Sniper D look taller. The white coloured front suspension fork is a good contrast to the orange coloured frame. The metallic coloured side stand looked out of place on this bicycle.
The Sniper D (2017) has its speed powered by a pair of Shimano MTB derailleurs. The Shimano Tourney at the front and Shimano Acera M360 at the back makes for a decent mix up of derailleur components on this hardtail MTB. Mix and match of derailleurs are common on MTB’s and I must say that this combination worked without any glitches during the test ride. The gear changes are taken care of by the Shimano EF500 24 speed shifters. These shifters have a big number console making it easy for the rider to see on what gear the derailleurs are on.
Being a hardtail MTB, most of my focus during the test ride was on braking during the test ride. The stopping power on the Firefox Sniper D (2017) is controlled by Tektro mechanical disc brakes at both the front and back. The brakes are reactive and safe when using them while going fast and turning on muddy surfaces. The Shimano brakes levers were lengthy and easy to use and were in good reach from the handlebar grips.
The Zoom alloy handlebar on the Sniper D had only the slightest of curves from the middle. This handlebar is still aggressive and gives an open chested posture, which is perfect for fast trail riding.
The Firefox Sniper D rolls on a pair of Kenda 26 inch x 2.1 inch MTB tires which can handle moderate trails. The treads could have been better. There is a tube inside and on unpredictable trails these tubes will get punctured. A tire liner or tubeless tire could be a useful upgrade.
The saddle on this hardtail MTB is padded enough to keep the rider free of saddle soreness. The shape is also good enough to make the sit bones seated on the widest points on the saddle. The overall ride quality is aggressive and fast on rough urban roads and trails.
During the test ride this bicycle rolled over rough surfaces with ease and also the smooth derailleurs made me control the speed easily. The high functioning front suspension forks along with the aggressive handlebar makes this bicycle a joy to ride through trails. Priced at Rs.26,900 the Firefox Sniper D (2017) is best suited for any beginner looking to buy an hardtail MTB to ride on both trails and urban roads.